If you are looking for new ways to deepen your impact, serve your customers better, and help other businesses owners along the way, then it’s time to look into networking – specifically complementary networking.
Since we believe a business is only as strong as its network is, we focus on building a strong network of companies that will be there to serve our customers when we can’t do it ourselves. Because really, what is the point of being a business owner if we don’t do our best to help our customers every time?
And that’s exactly what we covered in our latest episode of Systematic Excellence Podcast: complementary network! If you haven’t listened to the episode yet, we recommend you keep reading to learn why building a network of companies that offer services similar to yours is a win-win situation for everyone.
What is “complementary network” and why is it important to your business
Amalie: I think that you are only as strong as your network is, and something that we value is, if we can’t help the client, we ensure them that we will get them connected with the person that can. The reason we’re able to say that and do that is because we’ve built a great network of people who provide services just like we do, but also complementary services. So if we’re too busy, or we don’t feel like it would be a good fit, but we think someone else would be, even if they would be considered our competitor, it’s still important to have those people in your network and say, “I’m going to help you, and even if it’s not me, I’m still going to make sure you’re going to get taken care of.” What that does is it continues to serve them, just in a different way.
Janine: I think it’s a very basic premise. It’s the golden rule of treating people how you would like to be treated. And if you go on the premise that entrepreneurs are problem solvers, then people come to you because they have a problem that they need solved. And when I have a problem that I need solved, I appreciate any help along the way getting me to the solution, whether it’s the first person I approach or the 10th.
Amalie: I think it also deepens your impact because you’re leaving an impression on that person by taking care of them instead of just washing your hands of them. And if you can build relationships with people who are either complimentary to your service or competitors, and you’re confident in your business to have a relationship with your competitor, I think that that really speaks volumes about you and your business. That allows you to have a bigger impact on the people that you’re serving, whether you’re directly serving them or you’re serving them by getting them the right help they need to solve their problem.
Janine: And from the flip side is, I think it’s a red flag when you find someone who is trying to be anything or everything, it means they haven’t really figured out what they are doing. They probably aren’t masterful at what it is they’re doing.
Tips to build a successful complementary network
Amalie: And then to talk about complementary network, something that we provided for the ecomm coffee funnel that we released in the membership area to learn how to build a coffee drop shipping business, is a guide on how to brainstorm complementary products. So things that you can sell with coffee that makes sense, involving other vendors or suppliers in that.
And you can do that not just with physical products but services too, if you’re a website designer, maybe you have the complementary service as a copywriter right where you would be able to collaborate or refer someone once you’ve designed their website.
Also, it’s nice to know that you have people that can support you. And if you’re referring people to someone, they’re likely to refer back to you. So it’s the circle of being able to support each other in business.
Janine: That was my thought, just the word “competitor”, it’s like you can spend way too much time worrying about the competition or trying to beat them out, or stay ahead, when in fact, if your focus is on being and providing the very, very best, your business is inherently going to grow. And you are secondarily going to beat out your competition because of that, but that should be not because of some kind of underhanded tactic, but it just seems like a negative way of moving through the world, rather than just doing the very best you can.
Amalie: And it comes off with a level of confidence too to be able to say, “Listen, I’m just not the right fit for you. But I know someone that is”. That’s okay, not everyone’s gonna like me, not everyone’s gonna want to work with me.
Janine: That’s the other thing about so called competitors. You could literally do the exact same thing. But on the personality side, some are better fits than not, and it just is what it is. That’s the chemistry between people.
Why supporting other small businesses helps you grow
Amalie: I think even when you’re starting out, building that network from the very beginning, I mean, there’s people that are in our network that I’ve known since the day I started my business, and I’m still in contact with them, and will still refer work and they’ll still refer work to me, because I feel comfortable enough going to them and saying, “I have openings for that if you know anyone that’s looking for this service” and I think that’s important, too, because you’re going to constantly just have conversations and you’re referring people back and forth.
Janine: When you put it in perspective of the impact level, if you’ve gotten all the way through sales, and through profit, and then through order all the way to impact without building a network or collaborating in many ways, it’s like you’ve really done it the hard way. That is a long, tough slog. And there is a lot of fun in teamwork, even in joint ventures, just all the different ways you can collaborate with people, including your team and your audience along the way that you totally missed out on if you’ve managed to make it that far.
Amalie: Reaching out to people that do what you do, you guys can talk about your crazy stories, find ways to work together and collaborate. One of the best things is being able to do that. And the reason we were able to have all of these people for the interviews for this Business Hierarchy of Needs series, was because of our network, most of the people we knew, there were a few people that we didn’t that we met and now we’ve worked with them. But the reason we were able to fill so many plates, so many of the interviews is because we have a great network of people that we know and have worked with, and I’m really proud of that.
And that’s it for today! We hope this interview has been as helpful to you as it was to us. See you on the next episode!
To listen to the full episode click here. https://amalieshaffer.com//podcast/
If you have any questions or want to reach out to us, message us at Hello@systematicexcellence.com and we’ll get in touch with you.
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